Ding 80! OK now that is out of the way this is going to be a quick post re:my current build. In short, it is performing pretty much as expected.
Penance is pretty useless as a damage spell, but awesome as a heal. A bit of a shame about the damage and I hope they buff it in the future. Healing-wise it is a very nice heal and the 8s (talented) cool down isn’t really an issue. I’m pretty much spamming it on cool down and loving it. Especially on the tank. One trap for young players is that Penance is one of the few (only?) healing spells which require a priest to be facing their target. This has slowed me down a second here or there as I remember to turn to heal non-tanks.
A second issue/lesson has been regarding shielding warrior tanks. I was under the impression that shielding warrior tanks was not really an issue anymore, but after healing a few in 5-mans this has definitely been an issue at the start of pulls. As a result I’ve been pre-shielding paladins and death knights before pulls, but waiting until a warrior had a full rage bar before shielding them. The same probably goes for druids but I don’t remember having a single one tanking for me when leveling 70-80. Strange.
Overall leveling is about the same as my original Echoes of Doom build. There is much less grinding mana-regen, but not enough to slow down your leveling. It is good practice for me to make use of Shadowfiend and other mana regen spells anyway. I was amazed at just how effective Spirit Tap was as a regen tool when levelling, but you can survive without it.
Damage output is slightly less, but not significantly less.
This build seems a good one to take me into heroics, but I have to admit I am thinking of trying a Holy build. 🙂 I’ve only attempted healing on one heroic (Utgarde Keep) and that was a bit of a failure, but I don’t think it was the build. On that ill fated run even my Greater Heals were sometimes completing and not making the tanks health go up (lag?) and he was getting destroyed faster than I could heal. In hindsight I suspect he might not have had enough Defence Rating to tank heroics (i.e. he was getting critted a lot).
I’m also loving Mind Sear. It’s not specific to the build, but finally I can do some AoE! This is great, especially for the the instances where i’m over geared/leveled, such as normal Magister’s Terrace, which I recently completed for the first time. With a 76 pally tanking I wasn’t doing a ton of healing, so helping the DPSers do some AoE was a trill (yes I know i’m easy to entertain).
So to bring this ramble to a close. The build works fine so far. I’ve still got 4 zones of quests to do, so questing will be my focus for at least another month. This should easily get me enough cash for my epic flyer.